Social Care for people with mental health issues in Scotland is the responsibility of Local Authorities (Councils), and they have a duty to take reasonable steps to facilitate the individual’s rights to have their dignity respected and to participate in community life.
Social Care for people with mental health issues in Scotland is provided for under the Social Care (Self Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013.
The Act states that in discharging its duties, a local authority must take reasonable steps to facilitate the individual’s rights to have their dignity respected and to participate in community life.
The Act sets out four options for people assessed as having eligible needs for care and support, to ensure everyone can exercise choice and control:
- A direct payment;
- The person chooses the support they want with the budget they have been allocated and the local authority arranges it on their behalf;
- The local authority selects and arranges the available support;
- The person chooses any combination of options 1, 2 or 3.
How to access Self-directed Support through your Council
If you feel that you have a need for a level of care or support in daily living, which is not currently available to you, then you may wish to contact your Council to discuss this with a social worker. Councils have a duty to support people in need and they must be sure that any resources they allocate to people are sufficient to meet those needs.
Step one – First contact: Each Council have slightly different processes but it is most likely that in your area there will be a central contact telephone number. You can either call yourself, or have a friend, neighbour, doctor, family member, nurse, or another make contact on your behalf.
Step two – Initial Screening: A worker will speak with you about what you may need support with and will consider the details you give them. This information will help them decide if you have needs that the council should be helping you with. If they conclude that you may be eligible for support he or she will arrangements for a more detailed assessment to be completed.
Step 3 – Assessment: This assessment may involve a number of meetings with you, the worker from the council and maybe your carers or other important people in your life. The Council have a duty to make sure you are involved in the assessment. The worker will discuss with you: What is important to you and what support would help make a positive difference? How much do your support needs impact on your life? Remember it’s important that your council take into account your preferences and those of your family.
Step 4 – Agreement & Support Planning: If the council concludes that you need support, which they have a responsibility to meet, they will record this in a community care assessment. You should be given a copy of your assessment and have an opportunity to have any disagreements recorded in it. If it is agreed that you need support you will be offered 4 different options as to how you would like your support delivered. Once everything is agreed, you should receive a copy of your support plan. The council should also agree with you how often they will review your support plan.